|“Impact Investing in Asia – a Diverse and Dynamic Market – Việt Nam” discussion opened in HCM City on Nov 16. -- VNS Photo|
HCM City -- Investors, business and finance leaders, and representatives of family offices and foundations took part in a discussion in HCM City last Friday (Nov 16) on impact investing, which intends to create a positive social impact alongside financial returns.
The event, called “Impact Investing in Asia – a Diverse and Dynamic Market – Việt Nam,” brought together prominent members of the business, philanthropic and investing community to discuss the future of impact investing in Southeast Asia.
“The Australian Government is looking to build lasting partnerships with local, regional, and global impact investors that bring market-based approaches to solving the world’s most intractable development problems, particularly in addressing gender inequality,” said Rebecca Bryant, deputy head of Mission for the Australian Embassy in Việt Nam.
“If impact investors want to create a stronger social impact, reaching deeper into untapped markets of developing countries like Việt Nam, then they need to incorporate a gender lens into their investment strategy,” she added.
Over the past five years, the Asia Pacific region has been the fastest-growing impact investing market in the world.
Private impact investors (PIIs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) are drawn to the region, with especially high activity in the dynamic economies of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Việt Nam.
According to a recent Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Intellecap report, Việt Nam has seen increasing market interest in impact investment, with nearly half of such impact deals made since 2015.
However, given limited seed-stage impact capital and few impact-focused intermediaries, sourcing investable deals remains challenging, the report said.
Overall, since 2007, 10 PIIs have deployed close to US$26 million into 23 deals.
Six DFIs made direct investments of some $1.4 billion into 50 deals over the same period.
Importantly, moving capital with a gender lens can support a significant underserved market and create additional social impacts, the report said.
Three PIIs have deployed $3.3 million into four gender lens investments.
The discussion on Friday featured an overview by the GIIN of the global and regional impact investing market; reflections on opportunities for impact investing from leading investors in Việt Nam; and a networking reception with peers from the Vietnamese impact investing and wider financial communities.
“Vietnam is a fast-emerging impact investing market, with nearly half the deals over the past decade taking place since 2015. Going forward, opportunities exist in financial services, healthcare and education, reflecting the need for investments in basic services for the local population,” GIIN Research Director Abhilash Mudaliar said.
“Promisingly, the government has created a series of incentives for firms to register as social enterprises and it will be important to continue to refine the regulation so that more start-ups are encouraged to do so,” he added.
The event was organised by Investing in Women, an Australian Government initiative, in partnership with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), and co-hosted by Standard Chartered.
HCM City was one of several Southeast Asian cities to host these impact investing roadshows. Investing in Women recently sponsored events in Makiti City in the Philippines on November 12 and Jakarta, Indonesia on November 14. -- VNS